The Houston Marathon is officially less than a week away from today. Are you ready? You are. It will be one of your life’s finest journeys. As for me I will be on the sidelines cheering for you. In the previous five years 2012 was my first time to be a spectator and cheer. It was exhilarating, and I am looking forward to doing it, again! If you haven’t watched and cheered runners in the Houston Marathon, then I highly recommend you step out of your house with your coffee, curlers, slippers, whatever and offer support. As a past runner I can tell you it is so motivating to hear people call out, “Go Kerra.” No stranger ever pronounces my name correctly, but in the race it lacks importance. Even if someone called me “Karen,” I was thrilled and would wave back and smile big.
Sunday, look for us around mile 7.5, then for marathoners we will be there, again, around mile 24. Sunday, I bought poster board and markers, so this year we will have signs, as well as, my obnoxious hat and bell. Cannot wait!!!
Anyway, it is part of my personality to be full of advice. Ask my friend’s teenage son. I have overwhelmed him with college advice, he may think I am a little off my rocker. In the spirit of preparation and Karra’s awesome advice here are a few race day tips I have either read in Runner’s World or were verbally shared by my fellow runner friends, coaches. Speaking of runner friends, please, feel free to add more because I know many of you have run 50X the number of races I have.
- Do not try a new outfit or shoes. It could be a total disaster. Stick to clothes and shoes you have worn in your training long runs.
- Men: Rub Glide on your nipples or cover with bandaids. My guy friends who have experienced not doing it, really regretted it. Big time.
- Use Glide or vaseline in areas where your clothes are sure to rub. You can decide where.
- Do not try new foods Friday or Saturday nights. In fact do not eat any greens or fiber Friday or Saturday. The last thing you want to do is interrupt your run with a little cha-cha-cha. And, please, do not pull what I saw one elite runner do in the 2012 Houston Olympic trial run, –shat in his pants. Yuck!
- This advice was given from an elite runner. Marathon 2009 Brian and I were volunteering for the Saturday’s Childrens’ run, day before race, Meb Keflezighi introduced himself and said if he could offer one bit of advice, then it would be: “Sleep with your feet upright, against the wall.” He said it would help bring the circulation down from the legs and feet, making the run easier. That night I forgot and did it an hour before getting up, didn’t really make a difference, but really, was I the right judge? Little ol’ amateur me. I remembered the advice in 2011’s Marathon, but, again, who am I?! Anyway, who knows. Maybe, it will work for you. And it came directly from Meb’s mouth, so I had to share it.
- If you have any aches, and I am not an M.D., so take this advice lightly, start taking Advil Friday and pack a couple in your pouch in case you need it during the race.
- It looks like there is a little rain in the forecast. If it may rain, then wrap your shuffle in plastic wrap. In 2011’s race I ignored that advice, and it poured basically from mile 1 to 14, so by 15 my shuffle was D.E.A.D. Ugh. No bueno.
- Relax. It is just a competition with yourself, unless you are an elite athlete, then, well, you are not reading this blog.
- Smile. Have fun with it. Enjoy the crowds and support. You will be pleasantly surprised. I think, every year Houstonians get more and more involved with the marathon.
Good luck! We will see you along the course, cheering you on with coffee breath, then possibly, bloody mary breath.
Here are a few more pics from last year’s Olympic trials…didn’t capture stinky pants, thankfully.